On February 13, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi traveled to China to enhance the economic and diplomatic ties between the two countries. Raisi was accompanied by six members of his cabinet along with Mohammad Reza Farzin, the relatively new central bank governor who was appointed in December of 2022. Raisi’s trip to China lasted three days and ended on February 16.
The trip, which was Raisi’s first state visit to China, resulted in various agreements as noted by a joint statement given on February 16 and reported by Iranian and Chinese news agencies. China and Iran agreed to support one another politically throughout their respective regions and that the two countries would seek to work together more on international issues. China has been openly against the sanctions placed on Iran by the West, both before and after the 2015 deal that allowed Iran to have some sanction relief in exchange for significant restraints placed on their nuclear program. President Xi Jinping spoke out against Iran’s current sanctions during the three day visit as well.
The two countries agreed to better coordinate their actions against terrorism in all forms, agreeing to “increase cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism to promote regional and international peace and security.” Both countries wish to ensure stability through the encouragement of “moderate middle-way thinking, so as to reduce the space for the development of terrorist forces at its source.” The statement also mentions that the militaries of both countries will take part in joint-training exercises.
During the meeting the two countries agreed to further cooperation on issues relating to “trade, agriculture, industry, renewable energy, infrastructure and other fields.” Essentially promising stronger economic growth in tandem. China plans to support Iranian enterprises via economic and trade exhibitions while also providing assistance to help manufacture higher quality goods to then be exported to China. Iran thanked China for its willingness to create a “green channel,” which allows Iran to export high quantities of agricultural exports to China.
The meeting concluded with the agreement that the next meeting of the China-Iran Joint Economic and Trade Commission will be held in Tehran, with President Xi Jinping personally invited to visit Iran. Iran and China’s strengthening ties could also lead to Iran’s acceptance into the informal, but slowly centralizing, organization known as BRICS, a group of emerging nations in mutual cooperation with one another. Regardless, Raisi and Jinping showed the world that China and Iran stand in support to each other, as for now.